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Horizon Pulp & Paper combines unique paper products and world-class sustainability

Estonian mill Horizon Pulp & Paper rewrites the script of the paper industry with a blend of sustainability and innovation, making unique product without putting nature at a risk.

Kehra, a small town near Tallinn, has been known for its pulp and paper factory for 85 years. Yet, things have also changed. The Estonian company has been owned by the internationally recognised and Singapore-based Tolaram Group for 30 years.

Since Kehra Paper Factory became Horizon Pulp & Paper in 1995, the company has developed a strong brand, Horizon, which is well-recognised with high brand value in foreign markets. Horizon has also been the early pioneer and front-runner in sustainability and ESG practises, gaining several recognitions from the public as an exporter of the year or by contributing to the community’s environmental and social well-being.

Now, Horizon is the only sack kraft paper producer in the Baltics. The mill uses 100% virgin long fibres, sourced only from certified sustainable forests, to produce a range of packaging products that are renewable, reusable, recyclable and biodegradable.

Leading in sustainability

This is well-noticed globally. For example, in 2020, Horizon outperformed the EU 2020 Climate & Energy Targets with a reduction of 80% in greenhouse gas emissions, achieving a 21% improvement in energy efficiency. Increasing its share of renewable energy to 80%, measured by the total energy consumed during production, Horizon is far ahead of even the EU’s recently revised target for 2030, which is 42.5%.

“Years ago, we were convinced that sustainability is the key to doing business and will eventually transform into the only correct way going forward. Accordingly, Horizon based its business model on sustainability and sustainable business practices,” says Bashyam Krishnan, CEO of Horizon Pulp & Paper.

“Today, ESG practices are institutionalised in all our business activities. As a responsible business, we believe we have an obligation to create a better planet for future generations and contribute to the welfare of the communities we operate in. Thus, it is important for us to keep raising the bar and outperform the climate targets and our own past achievements,” Krishnan explains.


Horizon plans to invest in building a state-of-the-art R&D facility, helping develop new speciality paper products to enhance its portfolio in Estonia. This is all to substantially enhance the international competitiveness of the company.

There is already a list of new products planned for development, and the scale of products is remarkably wide – from super high porosity paper for high-speed packaging to high-strength paper for spring mattress applications. This all is in addition to the company’s unique branded products like neutral pH paper developed for packaging parts in automotive, metal and electronics industries or paper with high strength and resistance under wet conditions used especially in the packaging of agricultural products.

Estonia, the best gateway

Krishnan points out that the location of the factory – Estonia – is perfect geographically for such an industry. “Estonia is uniquely positioned as a gateway to Europe and the rest of the world. Well-connected by road, ocean transport, and rail to move goods across continents. Operating from Estonia, Horizon exports to over 70 countries with ease.” The CEO is convinced there are many more advantages to doing business in Estonia.

“The workforce here is creative and skilled. The startup mindset is embedded in Estonia’s culture, enabling out-of-the-box thinking, which is crucial for innovation. Support from the government, active facilitation from Enterprise Estonia for investment and ease of doing business are also key factors,” says Krishnan.

The company is dedicated to giving back to society; social responsibility is the core of Horizon. For example, Horizon is investing in education and has implemented study modules at Kehra School for final-year students. Students are introduced to natural science topics such as environmental protection, sustainability and technology. Horizon personnel conduct lectures on these topics at the school. Horizon and Tolaram Group’s Foundation have partnered up with the NGO to launch an initiative that provides training support for beginning teachers in their local regions.

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